Despite longbows being the “longest” in the bow family, they also have some variations in size and the draw weight; depending on the draw length and the body type of the shooter.
Longer bows are usually slower but more forgiving. Shorter bows, on the other hand, provide better accuracy but are a bit punishing; i.e., you won’t be able to adjust your measurements so easily.
Longbow Size Chart
There are so many charts available for different longbow sizes according to the shooter’s height or body weight. However, they can be misleading as the strength of your arm doesn’t rely on your height or weight alone.
Here is a more practical approach. Our team sorted out a chart that showcases the relationship between the draw length and the longbow’s length. Usually, the bigger your draw length is, the longer the bow should be.
|Draw length||Bow length|
|24” — 27”||66”|
|27” — 28”||66” — 68”|
|28” — 30”||68” — 70”|
|Above 31”||70” — 72”|
Now, many of you may be wondering how to measure the draw length, right? Don’t worry, that’s easy to calculate. Let’s check out how
Measuring draw length
The 30-Sec rule
This is by far the easiest method to find the perfect bow length for you. Simply take a bow, draw it back to its full length, and maintain that position for 30 seconds. If you can’t hold the position for 30 seconds without any discomfort, the bow might be too heavy for you.
This method involved one of your friends helping you. To find the perfect draw length for you, take a tape measure and measure your arm span from one fingertip to the other one on the opposite side.
Once you get your measurements, divide that number by 2.5 and round the result. That’s your draw length.
Suggested draw length
This method is for someone with a little bit of experience in archery. If you have the knowledge about what your draw length is for compound bows, the process gets a lot easier.
You just have to take your draw length for a compound bow and subtract 15 pounds. What you now have is your perfect draw length for longbows.
If you have no idea about your draw length, the chart below will give you a rough idea of what your draw length might be. This won’t be 100% accurate, but it works well as a general guideline. Let’s have a look
|Body type||Approximate weight||Suggested draw length|
|Small child||40 — 70 lbs||10 — 15 lbs|
|Child||70 — 100 lbs||15 — 20 lbs|
|Women and large framed boys||100 — 140 lbs||30 — 40 lbs|
|Young boys and women with larger body frame||140 — 160 lbs||40 — 50 lbs|
|Most of the adult men||160 — 190 lbs||55 — 60 lbs|
|Men with a larger body frame||190++ lbs||65 — 70 lbs|
Standard Longbow Sizes
The English Longbow
These are the most commonly known type of longbows. English longbows are native to England and are perfect for target practice. The average length of an English longbow is 74 – 78 inches.
The American Longbow
This is basically a hybrid of the English longbow and the American flatbow. The American longbows perform exceptionally well in hunting. They are perfect for people looking for a shorter bow and draw length. They are usually 68 – 70 inches in length.
The Horse Longbow
The horse longbow combines the forgiveness of a longbow and the power of a recurve bow. They are the shortest among longbows and are good at both hunting and target practice. A standard horse longbow gets to be 65 – 68 inches long.
Tips to Choose the Perfect Longbow
Measure the draw length accurately
We learned to measure the draw length by dividing your arm span by 2.5, right? That info is going to come in handy here. You can either take help from a friend or go to a retailer for accurate measurement. Only get the longbow that has the same draw length as you.
Figure out the draw weight
This will determine the force and the velocity of your shots. If you are new to archery, start with the lowest draw weight possible and gradually work your way up. The draw weight should perfectly match your strength. Work on a “trial and error” basis to find the perfect draw weight.
Find your dominant eye
Also known as the “Ocular dominance”, eye dominance simply refers to your dominant eye. Yes, like most of us, you also have a dominant eye that will help you to target your bow. Some longbows feel more comfortable on one hand, some feel the same on the other. Choose wisely.
This is how you find your dominant eye in under a minute:
Pick a longbow with the right bow length
Once you figure out your draw length, choosing the right bow length becomes effortless. We’ve added a chart above to help you find the right size/length of bow for your longbow. Simply follow that chart and you should be just fine.
Brace height matters too
Brace height largely depends on your personal preference. It is the distance between the deepest point of the grip and the string of your bow. Brace height will dictate the speed and forgiveness of your setup. You can adjust the distance by turning the bowstring.
Drop your ego
Many people tend to compete when it comes to the draw weight. Remember, archery isn’t like your gym. Here, you won’t be a better archer by drawing more. Instead, it can become a larger bite than you can chew. Drop your ego; it’s not a competition!
1. Is a longbow more accurate than the short one?
Ans: Technically, yes. Longbows are more forgiving and comfortable to use, which makes them beginner-friendly. In fact, longer and heavier bows are slightly easier to shoot.